Sakaja stamps authority, says no turning back on night clubs closure

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. [File, Standard]

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has disputed a directive by Members of the County Assembly (MCA), which seeks to lift the ban on nightclubs.

His move is likely to bring to the fore the differences between the County's Executive and Legislature (county assembly).

Sakaja issued a ban on the license of nightclubs operating in residential areas on November 25.

In a tweet on Saturday, December 25, the county boss reiterated that sanity must be maintained, signaling that he will not revoke the ban.

“There will be sanity in our neighborhoods. There’s no turning back from that,” Sakaja tweeted. 

A day before, the ward representatives had issued the directive saying the order ‘was not clear and it is affecting all the night clubs, even those that are compliant’.

In the county assembly sittings on Friday, the MCAs adopted the report by the Sectoral Committee on Culture and Community Services.

The report was addressing a petition by the Pubs, Entertainment, and Restaurant Association of Kenya (PERAK).

PERAK had lodged a complaint against the governor’s order, terming it discriminatory. They also disregarded the fact that the same county government had issued licenses for the businesses to operate as nightclubs.

The reversal of the order comes days after Sakaja was asked by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to consult before making decisions that affect businesses in the capital city.

A month ago, Sakaja revoked licenses for nightclubs and wine and spirits joints operating in residential areas to curb noise pollution.

Sakaja’s directed that only entertainment joints within the Central Business District (CBD) will be allowed to renew their licenses and that nightclubs in residential areas are to stop playing music by 10.00 pm.

“Bars and restaurants in residential areas must operate within the specified time and control noise emanating from their premises,” a circular dated November 25 noted.

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